By John H. Corbin
The specifications and dimensions listed in Ezekiel for building the altar were tedious and extremely specific. I believe this was a test by God to see if the people he had placed in exile were actually turning their attention to his authority. Once they constructed the altar according to every desired detail of the Lord, then and only then would he accept the offering they placed there. ”Then I will accept you, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 43:27).
Hope for the Construction Crew
This new altar was symbolic of a new direction of life. Ezekiel’s team of workers must have had their excitement level increased daily as they drew closer to the completion of the new altar. This was not just any altar that they carried from place to place. It was a holy altar, one that would be pleasing to God and would bring forgiveness and blessings from the Lord.
Likely they were anxious to complete construction so that their offerings could be placed at the altar. This would allow God to understand their sincerity to a new commitment toward his instructions. Each day of construction brought forth greater hope as a restored temple, a holy temple, unfolded in front of their eyes.
The Altar Is Always Open
Once while sitting on the front terrace at the house of a prominent business man and NBA Hall of Famer, we discussed a certain area of my life. This outstanding gentleman mentioned that he would like to give me some advice. Before agreeing, he continued with, “It really isn’t my business, but obviously, whatever you have done the first two times has not been too successful, so you might want to take a different approach.”
This one statement caused me to examine every aspect of my life. Prayer was an area I needed to improve. Yes, God will answer a sincere prayer anywhere we deliver it, but now I go to church daily to pray. I desire for our Lord to see the extra effort to go to his house, his sanctuary, his altar, to offer myself up as a living sacrifice to his will.
The results? Astonishing!
John Corbin serves as a supply preacher for churches and runs a landscaping firm. He has three sons, Adam, Dakota, and Malachi, and makes his home in Ghent, Kentucky.